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Classic Signals: How events get funded

Every week, Features Editor Jessica Ganga hits the archives and finds old Signals that relate to current College topics and top stories.

Last Friday, Nov. 6, students got to enjoy a lecture by transgender actress and activist, Laverne Cox. The event was hosted by College Union Board (CUB), the organization on campus that brings events such as lectures like Cox and concerts to the college. Have you ever wondered how organizations like CUB get funded for large events such as this one? In 2010, News Editors, Brianna Gunter and Katie Brenzel reported how Student Finance Board (SFB) allocates the Student Activity Fee (SAF). In an excerpt from the article, the writers gave students a better understanding on how organizations on campus receive the funds they need to bring new and exciting events to campus.

SAF helps events, like the Laverne Cox lecture, come to campus. (Jessica Ganga / Features Editor)
SAF helps events, like the Laverne Cox lecture, come to campus. (Jessica Ganga / Features Editor)

Each year the College is host to a multitude of events held by students and aimed toward students. But where does the money for these events come from? According to Michael Stolar, executive director of the Student Finance Board (SFB), the answer is the Student Activity Fee (SAF).

SAF is a fee paid each year by every student at the College. It is included in a student’s bill for tuition and other fees and is currently $203 per year for each student.

SFB is in charge of allocating the SAF money to student organizations and events.

“We don’t have a cap on how much we give out, but every student group submits a budget each year,” Stolar said when asked if SFB was limited to a certain amount of SAF money it is allowed to distribute annually.

However, Stolar said the budgets submitted by each group generally determines the amount they receive each year.

When a group wants to request a new budget, they must fill out a detailed form (found on SFB’s Web site) explaining what their organization is and its purpose, how many events they have held that year, how many members they have, as well as why they deserve SAF funding.

Like many student clubs and organizations, the College Union Board (CUB) receives a base budget of SAF money from SFB every year. This year’s base budget for programming is $137,000, according to CUB finance director, Allie Binaco.

The base budget is dedicated to annual events, such as the Film Series, while other events, such as fall and spring concerts, are presented to SFB. Though the Brower Student Center Latenighter, TCNJ Holiday and Global Palooza are scheduled each year, Binaco said the difference in themes require CUB to present to SFB each year. For example, SFB recently granted CUB $30,201.80 for this year’s L.A. Latenighter, while last year’s “I Heart N.J.” cost $24,520. CUB also receives a budget for events in Rathskeller, which is approximately $40,000 this year, Binaco said.

The fall and spring concerts tend to demand the most funds, Binaco said, depending on the magnitude of the artist’s popularity. Ludacris and Lupe Fiasco’s performance at the College last spring, for example, was funded by the $160,88 granted by SFB.

Deciding high profile events requires research of the performer and a “system of checks and balances’ by the CUB elected and general board, Binaco said.

Polling student interest is also a component of his process. The practice of polling the student body is fairly recent Binaco said, but it isn’t required from the club in planning events. Controversy over Tucker Max’s recent appearance, which was enabled by the $16,138.40 of SAF granted to CUB, prompted CUB to administer a second poll to measure campus response.

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